The most important green: the green in my wallet published a study last year on consumers’ willingness to pay more for “green products”. As stated in their press release, Slightly more than half – 55% – of consumers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I would pay up to a 10% premium for electronic products that were manufactured in a more environmentally conscious way”.

We all know that what consumers or voters for that matter, say and do are not always the same; and these results are not overly encouraging regarding consumers willingness to spend a little more for green. However, the message here could be that consumers simply expect companies to make products in an “environmentally friendly manner”, and they should not have to pay more for it. Similarly, my expectation for a product I buy, is that it should not injury me or fall-apart after a few usages. Maybe we are asking the wrong question about willingness to pay more for something that consumers may think should already be accounted for in the cost of the product (?)

7 Responses to The most important green: the green in my wallet

  1. Dave Stangis says:

    I knew from the title this was a Niekerk post. At least you’ve found your voice Gary!
    I know I pay a lot more than 10% premium for the organic or natural food for my family. But, would I do the same for durable goods?? – good question. I don’t know if I could tell you in advance.

  2. I think that the main difference here is that “green” for durable goods also includes “ergonomics” that provides comfortable use for a long period of time. And, of course, products with a good ergonomical design have to have a higher price than other not well-designed and outdated products. The price of comfort that brings the perfect functionality and style as a result.

  3. Dhruv Bhate says:

    This reminds me of the “cage-free” eggs dilemma I went through – should I pay the 50c per dozen more on the word of the label of the eggs I was buying. I decided I would and have always bought “cage-free” since. It also convinced my naive shopper’s brain that eggs not labeled such put all their hens in tiny cages. Now, why do more companies not ADVERTISE their environmental preferences (if they are positive)…I think it will set the ball rolling. The danger is of course that everyone will jump on the bandwagon. We need a policy change that will require products to display their impact on the environment, including procurement costs, transportation costs…and also packaging. It shocks me every time I realize that we all take the concept of a landfill for granted with such ease.

  4. Louise Rubacky says:

    A detail re: this post is that the Canalysis study reported on Western European attitudes on the issue. (Also, less than 40% in the UK were willing to pay the 10% premium.)
    An Oct. 2007 LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) survey found that Americans were 50% less likely than Europeans to buy environmentally friendly products, but 25% more likely than Europeans to pay more for them. And a late 2007 Forrester Research survey found 12% of Americans were willing to pay more for greener electronics.